Daimler: Fully Autonomous Trucks On U.S. Roads Within 10 Years, Introduces New Cascadia
Las Vegas, Nevada – Today, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) introduced the first SAE Level 2 automated truck in series production in North America.
The introduction and press conference came at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The truck maker announced their latest enhancements to the Freightliner new Cascadia® includes integration of Level 2 automation technology.
Level 2 automation means the truck is capable of both lateral (steering) and longitudinal (acceleration/deceleration) control. “Automating acceleration, deceleration, and steering reduces the chance for human error, mitigates collisions, and can potentially save lives,” DTNA said in a statement.
Further, DTNA contends, “These technologies can also enhance the driver experience by making the truck-driving task easier, thereby improving driver comfort and well-being.”
DTNA’s Goal Is To Put Level 4 Automated Trucks On U.S. Roads Within 10 Years
DTNA also announced its plan to put Level 4 (highly automated) trucks on U.S. roads within 10 years. To ensure they are leading the way in this endeavor, the company says they are investing more than $500 million in their plans to integrate new automated technologies into its vehicles.
In its pursuit to lead the world in automated technologies, DTNA says its investment will create more than 200 new jobs at the new Daimler Trucks Automated Truck Research & Development Center at DTNA’s headquarters in Portland, Ore.
Roger Nielsen, President & C.E.O. of DTNA, said during the event, “We will make automated trucks a true American success story.” Nielsen also said the United States is an ideal country to lead the embrace of automated vehicles.
Nielsen cited the U.S.’s regulatory framework, infrastructure system, and the need to transport goods over long distances as the favorable factors. “The U.S. is simply a great place to host our vision,” he said.
Platooning Not A Priority
Former C.E.O., Martin Daum, was also on hand at the announcement and said the company is moving in a different direction. Dam who now serves as Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, and Daimler Trucks & Buses, said company is no longer prioritizing the development and deployment of platooning technology.
He said DTNA simply couldn’t build a solid business case to continue making platooning a priority. Instead, DTNA will fast-track the deployment of its automated driving technologies. Daum also noted DTNA expects to put Level 4 automated trucks on U.S. roads this year.
Nielsen says the company plans to have Level 2 automated trucks in production as soon as July 2019.